Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
You Should Know
It’s natural to focus on the extent of your physical injuries after a car accident. After all, even in a minor fender bender, your body is exposed to powerful and violent forces. Even if you were lucky enough to escape the accident without life threatening physical injuries, you might be surprised by the flood of emotions that can come after a car accident.
It’s natural to experience strong emotions such as shock, guilt, grief, helplessness, confusion, and fear after a motor vehicle accident. Some patients report continuing to feel afraid even though they know the danger posed by the accident has passed. Others report experiencing mood swings. Some report periods of crying uncontrollably. The feelings of sadness or depression after a car accident are very common, and can be intense. Be sure to tell your treating chiropractor or physician if these feelings are stopping you from doing your normal daily activities.
Another natural and common reaction to your car accident is increased anxiety. You may also feel anger, irritability, and agitation. These feelings may be directed at the other driver (even if you were at fault) or you may take your anger out on your loved ones, friends and co-workers.
On the other end of the spectrum are feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame (even if you weren’t at fault). You may find yourself ruminating on what you could have done or not done to prevent the accident.
Immediately after your car accident, it is normal to feel a flood of emotions, like those listed above. However, if you are still battling these post-accident emotional symptoms more than 3 months after your accident, you may be suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This is a condition that can develop after any type of traumatizing event.
Car accidents can trigger PTSD symptoms including experiencing flashbacks of the accident. In fact, research 1 has shown that an estimated 39.2% of motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD as a result.
Many suffering with PTSD also simultaneously have an intense fear of driving and/or a related anxiety disorder.
Returning to driving after a car accident
If your injuries won’t prevent you from driving for the rest of your life, at some point you’ll have to get back behind the wheel of a car. You’ll probably feel some anxiety the first time behind the wheel. You may even feel anxiety riding as a passenger in the car. Rest assured that this is natural.
Once back behind the wheel, you’ll probably find that you drive more cautiously than before. If your accident was at night, you may experience extra high anxiety around night driving.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably have questions. Fortunately, Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC of Advanced Wellness Solutions has many of the answers you need including:
- Is what I’m experiencing normal?
- How long will it be until I feel better?
The Chiropractor You Choose Makes a Difference
Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC knows first hand the emotional aftermath of surviving a car crash. While attending USF to obtain her BS in biomedical science, she was injured in a car accident– a near head on collision on part of SR 60 that is only 2 lanes. The other driver had tried to pass a semi-truck on his way to work. It was early morning, so when she saw the other driver’s headlights emerge from behind the semi-truck, she veered off the road quickly. Had she not reacted as quickly as she did, the other driver would have hit her head on. Instead, his pick-up truck struck her just behind the driver’s door, tearing a hole in the rear door of the mini-van she was driving.
When the police arrived at the scene of the accident, they had been told they were responding to a fatality accident. They were relieved to see her standing outside her vehicle. Even though the vehicle she was driving was obviously a total loss, she thought she wasn’t injured immediately following the accident. Only when the adrenaline rush wore off did she realize how seriously she was injured.
The injuries from Dr. Danielle’s accident caused trigeminal neuralgia, which is described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity. While her injuries and resulting pain forced her to leave school for a semester, it helped her to choose her career. Thanks to the care she received from her chiropractor (who encouraged her to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic), she was able to return to USF the next semester and complete her bachelor’s degree. She went on to graduate in 2014 from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange Florida.
This is why Dr. Danielle makes it a point to create a soothing, nurturing office environment at Advanced Wellness Solutions. She’s had first-hand experience and understands the intense feelings that are very common—and very real – when recovering from an auto accident. It’s why her office has not one but two “office dogs.” Wanda and William both seem to know when patients need emotional support. However, they’re kept confined behind a glass door into the front desk in case patients are afraid of dogs.
The doctor you choose makes a difference. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, call 855-509-5400 to make an appointment with Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC.
It’s only natural. You’ve been feeling pain in your upper back and neck for a while. You’ve also noticed your arm hurts and you’re starting to feel a tingly “pins and needles” sensation. So you do what EVERYONE with a smart phone or computer does these days – you ask Dr. Google. Just remember that online sources vary widely in credibility. Without medical education, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and worst-case scenarios.
When you’re searching for the cause of your symptoms on the internet, you might find that the online diagnoses tend to escalate quickly… alarmingly quickly. These sites may include a list of scary complications or symptoms that are red flags for which you should seek immediate medical attention. Many times, those symptoms are super vague and could apply to anything. Feeling lightheaded? Seek immediate medical attention! Feeling fatigued? Call 911!
While it’s frustrating, there’s a good reason why many REPUTABLE online medical information websites tend to catastrophize even the most benign symptoms and ailments. Their goal is to get you to contact your primary care physician to follow up.
Let’s take a look at our hypothetical symptom search. You’ve been feeling pain in your upper back and neck for a while. You’ve also noticed your arm hurts and you’re starting to feel a tingly “pins and needles” sensation. When you typed in your symptoms, you may have seen “T4 syndrome” offered as a possible diagnosis. As you read the symptoms, you realize that if you look at your hands for long enough, you could swear they’re turning blue.
What you may not know is T4 syndrome is a rare yet deceptive issue that can present in many different ways. In other words, you may or may not have T4 syndrome or T4 damage. To find out if you do, you’ll need to see your physician or chiropractor. T4 syndrome can be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, myofascial pain syndromes, cervical spine degenerative conditions, thoracic outlet syndrome, cardiac pain or pain originating from the viscera. Dr. Danielle has the training and tools that allow her to make a medical diagnosis.
Dr. Google isn’t a licensed practicing physician – it’s a search engine that indexes and catalogs the trillions of web pages published to the internet. So while Google does its best to provide you with the most accurate information, how you word that search will greatly determine the quality of the results you see.
For example, when a member of the general public searches for symptom information online, they will see different information displayed than when Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC types those same symptoms into the very same search engine.
There are two reasons for this. First, Dr. Danielle will use medical terminology when composing her search query. This effectively weeds out the unreliable results that might appear in a “general” search. Second, Google know you and your typical search patterns. For example, let’s say your typical search pattern takes you to “hysterical cat videos” on the reg. When you suddenly start searching for the cause of your wrist pain, Google knows you’re not a primary care physician. That’s why it’s not going to show you peer reviewed research publications in your search. While Google may know your search patterns, but it doesn’t know your individual health history.
There’s nothing wrong with searching for your symptoms online. You should educate yourself . You should ask questions. You should consider yourself a partner with your physician or chiropractor in your own medical care.
Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC encourages her patients to be active participants in their own care. When you come into her office with information you’ve found online, it provides a great starting point for the conversation.
Pain can keep you from getting healthy sleep. Sleep is critically important to healing from injuries as well as maintaining good health.
If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association estimates that 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder.
Though the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, the current research suggests that individuals with a sleep disorder may be more likely to develop chronic pain and people with chronic pain are more likely to have trouble sleeping.1
A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep problems pose an important risk for the development of musculoskeletal pain in adolescents. A large cross-sectional study involving 6986 adolescents found short sleep time to be a risk factor associated with regional musculoskeletal pain, particularly chronic regional pain and chronic widespread pain.2
Why Sleep is Important
When you crawl into bed to go to sleep, you might think your body is shutting down and resting. We now know nothing could be further from the truth. Sleepy time is when your body performs many “heavy lifting” tasks that repair, restore and maintain your mind, body and health.. These processes are so intensive that the body waits until you’re asleep to perform them. This is why getting proper sleep following surgery or an injury is an important part of the healing process.
If you been injured in a car wreck or suffer from chronic pain, getting that healthy sleep is easier said than done.
The Role of Sleep in Injury Recovery
Sleep plays a surprisingly important role in injury recovery . Whether you’ve been in a car accident or you’ve hurt yourself at work or play, you need to get healthy sleep so you body can repair damage to muscles, ligaments and tendon, and even bones.3
According to John DeLucchi, Physical Therapy Manager for OrthoCarolina, “If you want to upgrade your athleticism, decrease your risk of injury, decrease persistent pain, recover faster, boost your immune system, have more energy and perform better, sleep is critical.” 4
Your immune system relies on sleep to be able to fight harmful substances. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system can’t properly protect your body from infection. Your body makes white blood cells while you sleep. These white blood cells attack viruses and bacteria that can slow the healing process as well as make you sick.
Sleep is when the body manufactures hormones. During healthy sleep cycles, the brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth to repair blood vessels. This helps wounds to heal faster and restores sore or damaged muscles. Some of the hormones your body makes and releases during sleep slow breathing and relax muscles. This process can reduce inflammation and assist with healing. Other hormones your body releases are the ones that make you feel hungry or full. When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormone levels of ghrelin go up. Ghrelin is called the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. 5 At the same time the hormones that tell your body that you’re full (leptin) go down. 4 This is why poor sleep patterns often lead to overeating and obesity.
So – to recap – healthy sleep helps you
- heal and recover after surgery or injury
- relax muscles
- repair blood vessels
- fight infection
- restore sore and damaged muscles
- maintain a healthy weight
In a cruel catch-22, chronic pain sufferers find it difficult to get healthy sleep. Chronic pain can lead to sleep disturbances, depression and a heightened risk of suicide.5 Healthy sleep plays a vital role in battling chronic pain, but chronic pain often prevents healthy sleep patterns.
Good Sleep Hygiene
Here are some things to try to help you get a healthy night’s sleep.
- Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Reserve the bedroom for sleep, intimacy, and other restful activities.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.6
- Banish electronics from your bedroom.
- Be careful about napping. Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. However, daytime naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night.
- Instead of napping, try taking a brisk walk. Exercising – especially when you’re having trouble sleeping – is tough but worth the efforts. Make sure to avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Alcohol is not a sleep aid. While many people think drinking alcohol helps you sleep, studies show the opposite is true. 7 While alcohol will make you fall asleep faster, the quality of sleep you get is greatly diminished. The more you drink, and the closer your drinking is to bedtime, the more it will negatively impact the quality of your sleep.
If you’re logging in 8 hours of sleep at night but don’t feel refreshed in the morning, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions. There are many medical conditions – including chronic neck and back pain – that could be responsible.
Pain is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. Pain lets the brain know that damage or death has occurred to the cells in the affected area. It’s also the way our body tells us not to use the affected area. Pain lets us know what to do and not do with an injury. Persisting in activities that cause pain often causes more damage and slows healing.
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you may have refused treatment at the scene only to wake up the next morning feeling intense pain. The reason is your body’s incredible ability to keep you alive. When your car accident happened, your body released an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush, like pain, is another of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. An adrenaline rush triggers specific processes in the body to help you survive. It decreases your ability to feel pain, increases your strength temporarily and sharpens your mental focus. If you were being mauled by a tiger, an adrenaline rush is a good thing. It allows you to ignore your injuries and escape becoming a meal for a hungry tiger. However, the rush of adrenaline only decreases pain temporarily. After the effects wear off, you may be desperate to get your hands on immediate pain relief.
It’s understandable that you want to avoid pain. It’s understandable that you want to get back to doing everything you were doing before the injury. However, don’t be fooled by the clever marketing that’s been done to give you the impression that pain relief medications help the body heal faster. Of course, the ads never come right out and say that. There’s a reason for that – they can’t because it’s not true.
Pain medications do not speed up the healing process. However, pain medications can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. Pain medications – used in the short term – can provide symptomatic relief while chiropractic care breaks up scar tissue and adhesions, relieving stiffness, pain and the discomfort it causes.
We’re learning that you won’t find the solution to pain – even chronic pain – in a pill. Not only are opioid medications dangerous and addictive, they can actually cause your pain to worsen.
Prescription painkillers cause the pain you feel to increase over time.
New studies are painting an especially grim picture pointing to the long term effects of using opioids for chronic pain. It’s call Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia or OIH. OIH is the increased perception of pain leads to needing higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
Studies show that when you use an opioid, it sets off a chain of immune signals in the spinal cord that amplify pain rather than dulling it, even after the drug leaves the body.1
Peter Grace, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado Boulder is trying to trace hyperalgesia to the way opioids affect the immune system. His team injured rats to mimic the nerve pain humans feel. Ten days after the injury, half the rats received a 5-day treatment of morphine. Over the next 12 weeks, the researchers periodically measured the rodents’ threshold of pain. After 6 weeks, the injured rats that had received no morphine returned to the same sensitivity as uninjured control rats. Meanwhile, it took morphine-treated rats 12 weeks – twice as long – to return to the same pain sensitivity as the control rats. 2, 3
The higher the dose, more risk of overdose all the while with the patient experiencing increasing pain levels. Some studies suggest that it makes the pain even worse than when the patient began treatment.
- The treatment of pain with high doses of opiates may increase the chance of greater levels of pain at later times.
- Taking high doses of opiates for chronic pain may increase levels of postoperative pain, even when their opiate doses are increased.
- People who use or who have used opiates in the past, may have increased pain responses to such procedures as having their blood drawn.
The key takeaway here is that your pain can keep increasing not because of an injury, but due to the action of the opioids themselves.
Our bodies have natural opioids called endorphins. If your body becomes used to opioid pain medication, its ability to create and use natural endorphins will decrease. This makes you lose the ability to reduce pain on your own.
Using prescription painkillers to manage pain is a lot like blowing your nose with a tissue filled with sneezing powder!
There are many safer, proven ways to help relieve chronic pain. One is by using over the counter (OTC) painkillers. OTC painkillers include NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen relieve (brand name Tylenol). NSAIDS relieve pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain. Acetaminophen works on the parts of the brain that receive the pain messages.
These are easily available, aren’t habit-forming, and won’t leave you groggy, dizzy, or even constipated. However, these OTC painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. They have also been known to cause stomach ulcers and bleeding as well as liver and kidney problems. These risks increase with sustained use. If you’ve been using OTC pain relievers for more than 14 days straight, you should probably talk to your health care provider about the risks. Just because its sold without a prescription doesn’t mean that OTC pain relievers are “safe” for long term use.
Topical pain relievers or liniments are also available without a doctor’s prescription. These products include creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain from sore muscles and arthritis.
Chiropractors specialize in treating the musculoskeletal injuries that cause acute and chronic pain. Chiropractic care includes a variety of pill free/drug free treatment modalities that allow your body to heal naturally.
Chiropractic care is proven effective. A study that compared the effectiveness of prescribed medications to spinal manipulation found that 94% of patients who underwent chiropractic treatment saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks. In comparison only 56% of patients who used regular medical care saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks.5
At Advanced Wellness Solutions, we would love to help you get back to living the life you love pain free! Call us at 855-509-5400 or contact us to schedule an appointment today.
If you’ve ever had a muscle spasm, you know how painful it can be. Muscle spasms can cause severe neck and back pain. They can make your life miserable.
Modern chiropractic care provides many treatment modalities that provide drug free pain relief. Before you turn to muscle relaxers for back or neck pain, here’s some things you should know.
If you seek usual medical care (UMC) for back pain, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants.1
New treatment guidelines from the ACP strongly recommend that people with back pain first try non-drug measures such as yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage before resorting to over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and muscle relaxants.2
What are muscle relaxers
The term “muscle relaxers” is definitely deceiving because this classification includes a wide range of drugs with different indications and mechanisms of action.3
Many muscle relaxers cause sedation throughout the central nervous system. In other words, they make all of your muscles relax, not just the tight ones. They also make you feel sleepy. If acute pain from an injury is making it difficult to sleep, this can be a good thing. Sleep helps you heal. However, this can make living your life during your waking hours difficult.
There is growing concern surrounding these drugs because it is not clear how effective muscle relaxers are when it comes to relieving pain. Concerns have been also raised about the adverse side effects involved with many of these drugs. In addition to sedation, potential adverse effects include drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and the potential for addiction.3
Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain
Acute pain is immediate pain. You can often identify what you were doing to cause the pain. Sometimes the cause of acute pain can be a seemingly harmless movement, like lifting something heavy. On the other hand, chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the typical expected healing period.
Jeffrey E. Keller is a Board Certified Emergency Physician with 25 years of emergency medicine practice experience before moving full time into his “true calling” of Correctional Medicine. His recommendations to physicians regarding prescribing muscle relaxers in his post Skeletal Muscle Relaxers Do Not Relax Skeletal Muscles.
1. Never prescribe muscle relaxers long term for chronic conditions.
2. If you prescribe a “muscle relaxer” for acute low back pain, use them only for a short time. The number usually bandied about is no more than 7 days.
Ignore Pain at Your Peril
Pain is simply one way your body communicates with you. It’s your brain’s way of saying, “STOP! BE CAREFUL! This part of your body needs your attention!”
Muscle relaxers mask the symptom of muscle spasm pain. A muscle spasm is not only a reaction to an injury, it’s also your body’s way of trying to protect itself from further injury.
Chiropractic is a health care profession dedicated to providing non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors have a wide assortment of proven treatments and modalities that can provide drug free pain relief for muscle spasms.4
Advanced Wellness Solutions focuses on creating individualized treatment plans incorporating treatment modalities combined with the use of patient-driven care such as exercise, activity modification, and ergonomic modifications. In other words, Dr. Danielle has a lot of tricks up her sleeve to help you get drug free relief from muscle spasm pain.
Contact Advanced Wellness Solutions at 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment today.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a surprisingly common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm.
The pain, numbness and tingling is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist. It is surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. The median nerve passes through this narrow passageway. When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and arm.
In its early stages, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may include your hand tingles and feels weak, or the fingers numb, or both. These symptoms can often disrupt your sleep.
Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome can be mistaken for something else, such as pressure on nerves in the neck due to disc problems or arthritis, which can cause similar symptoms. A nerve conduction study can be used to confirm a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis as well as measure how severe the compression of the nerve is.
Numbness, tingling and pain in your hands, fingers and wrist is an example of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. Early correct diagnosis and treatment can dramatically improve your outcome. Treatment modalities depend upon the cause of your symptoms.
If Left Untreated:
It’s important to seek treatment if you have signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that interfere with your normal activities and sleep patterns. Permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur without treatment.
If left untreated, you may begin dropping things. Activities that require fine finger movements, such as writing or fastening buttons, will become more difficult. You may begin to feel you are losing coordinated movement of your fingers. Moving your thumb may also become difficult.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve. This compression can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage without treatment. Dr. Danielle’s EMG/NCV certifications make her uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat this condition. She can also help you to determine if surgery is necessary.
Your first appointment will take approximately 55 minutes, giving you plenty of time to communicate your concerns. This also gives Dr. Danielle time to explain in easy to understand terms your condition and treatment goals.
Contact our office by calling 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
No one likes living with chronic pain, but many of us push through rather than address the underlying issue. Did you know that chronic pain can harm your health even if it’s not limiting your activities?
If you’re living with (and ignoring) chronic pain, university medical school studies reveal that you may be doing long term damage to your overall health.
According to a University of Utah School of Medicine report published at NCBI, chronic pain can significantly impact your overall health.
One of the ways chronic pain can affect your health is by disrupting your sleep. According to a study released by the American Psychological Association, healthy sleep has been proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity, more influential than diet, exercise, or heredity!
As if that laundry list weren’t enough, the University of Utah study shows that chronic pain can even impact your cardiovascular health, not to mention your sexual function.
The Good New is: Chronic pain can often be successfully managed without drugs, injections or surgery.
Modern chiropractic care addresses so much more than just neck and back pain. Modern chiropractors treat the whole person – not just a specific body part.
Dr. Danielle has helped hundreds of people suffering from chronic pain return to the activities they love while enjoying pain free living.
If you’re dealing with chronic pain – don’t delay! Chronic pain can have a domino effect on your overall health!
Don’t suffer another day with pain! If you live in or near Stuart, Florida or Palm City, Florida, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions. Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment today.